JAZA cuts ties with the dolphin killers of Taiji.
Sea Shepherd has been opposing the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji since 2003 in a campaign called Operation Infinite Patience.
Finally that infinite patience has paid off.
The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) voted on May 20 to no longer purchase dolphins from the killers of Taiji.
Last month, JAZA was given a choice by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to either stop purchasing dolphins from Taiji or be permanently suspended from WAZA.
JAZA made the decision to stay with WAZA.
After years of pressure from Sea Shepherd, Dolphin Project, Earth Island Institute and others, WAZA ruled that the Taiji hunt is "cruel," and made the decision that none of its members can purchase dolphins from the dolphin butchers of Taiji.
In a letter to WAZA, the Japanese group, which comprises 89 zoos and 63 aquariums, said it would abide by WAZA's decision.
"It is our wish at JAZA to remain as a member of WAZA," chair Kazutoshi Arai said in a letter addressed to WAZA President Lee Ehmke.
This is a landmark decision by JAZA. Will it end the slaughter? We do not know yet. But what it will do is undermine the market for dolphins captured in Taiji. The captures are where the money is. Killing dolphins for meat alone cannot sustain the dolphin drive. This is a significant blow to the butchers of Taiji and wonderful news for the dolphins in the waters around Japan.
Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians will continue to monitor Taiji to see what happens next season. Taiji will remain under the international spotlight until the killing is permanently ended.